For the past decade, spoofing has been illegal. Unfortunately for prosecutors, it is also a real bitch to prove in a court of law.

Luckily—and possibly as a consequence—bankers are giving those prosecutors plenty of practice. And even more luckily, while spoofing securities and futures trades is illegal, spoofing a spoofing investigation—by asking foreign colleagues for help in a spoofing probe, even if the help isn’t needed other than to be able to hit the pause button on the statute of limitations—remains perfectly acceptable for now, insofar as those accused of spoofing in cases in which spoofing a spoofing investigation is alleged cannot actually investigate those spoofing allegations.

U.S. District Judge John J. Tharp Jr. said Thursday that he would deny a motion by the ex-Deutsche Bank traders to get the evidence, as well as the former prosecutor’s request to intervene in the case. U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee, who is hearing the case against the former Merrill Lynch traders, announced last month that he would reject the defendants’ motion….

The ex-prosecutor, Ankush Khardori, alleged in a memo to the Justice Department’s internal watchdog that prosecutors didn’t urgently need the overseas evidence and made the request “to buy more time to build a case….” The Justice Department denied the allegations and said the former prosecutor was trying “to further his own agenda,” suggesting he was angry over the circumstances around his resignation….

Judges Rebuff Traders’ Challenge of Overseas Evidence [WSJ]